Hoteliers with an on-site restaurant understand the importance of creating a unique dining experience. Offerings like tasty cuisine, fresh design and new formats can attract interest beyond the guests upstairs. Discover six exciting ways hotels are luring new business beyond travelers.
1. City Views
Travelers and locals alike will gravitate towards a restaurant offering the best views in the city. Take the GB Roof Garden, located on the roof of the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Greece. There, diners can catch picturesque views of the Parthenon, Syntagma Square and the Acropolis, to name a few.
Guests can explore the authentic Mediterranean cuisine, made with premium fresh ingredients by Executive Chef Asterios Koustoudis and his team. Favorite dishes include the tuna tartare with ponzu dressing and Aegean lobster tagliolini. Plus, a meal is never complete without the signature la tarte Honolulu, a vanilla-flavored creation with coconut whipped cream and passion fruit.
2. Craft Cocktails
Hotel Indigo Birmingham, located in Alabama, is a boutique hospitality brand focused on refreshing the guest experience, whether you’re staying overnight or just grabbing a drink. The hotel is home to the Rx Lounge, situated in a building that was once an apothecary. Seated around medical-themed decor, guests can order from a menu featuring Prohibition-era cocktails.
Specialty drinks are divided into categories like “aphrodisiacs,” “stimulants,” and “inhalation therapy,” aka smoked cocktails. Whiskey-lovers can try the house variety infused with wood chips and orange rind. Guests can also order food from the full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
3. Grab-and-Go Eats
Everyone is in a hurry — not just travelers. Give the people what they want by offering grab-and-go food options. The Westin Chicago Northwest, a hotel in Illinois, claims a 2015 survey discovered a consistent demand for an array of dining options. Now, the property implements several on-the-go eateries, like a Starbucks in the lobby.
At Even Hotels, a wellness-themed brand with locations across the country, there are multiple quick food options available, including healthy ones. The on-site restaurant, Cork & Kale, also offers retail and freshly prepared food — ranging from snacks to fully-prepared meals — 24/7 for guest convenience.
4. Local Flavor
Hotel restaurants are adapting to become known for their flavor. If they’re one of the best dining options in town, it’s a no-brainer that both locals and overnight guests will visit. Forklift and Palate, for example, located in The Warehouse Hotel, captures guests from the surrounding Pennsylvania attractions, including Spooky Nook Sports.
The restaurant serves classic American cuisine — with a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — that can please any picky eater. The spot is known for unique cocktails, with options from sweet and fruity to tart and fizzy. Guests can also choose from a robust wine, cider, and beer selection.
5. Niche Decor
Design can make or break the hotel restaurant experience. One award-winning agency, Blacksheep, has teamed up with international hotel brands — including Fairmont Hotel Group, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, etc. — to develop outstanding dining environments. Their projects have included the Cuckoo Club and Whisky Mist, redefining London’s nightlife.
Jo Sampson, the agency’s Creative Director, says, “We don’t follow trends, we define them.” He claims the brand creates designs with longevity, trying to stay one step ahead of current fads. It’s all about the restaurant’s atmosphere, from lighting and music to the bar and seating areas.
6. New Experiences
Dining is no longer a sit-down operation — it’s an experience. Some hotels are tapping into this idea by offering restaurant guests once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. At Waldorf Astoria in New York City, guests can climb to the rooftop, 20 stories above Park Avenue, to walk in a garden come to more than 360,000 bees.
These bees produce 300 pounds of honey each year, harvested for use in spa treatments as well the restaurant menu. In 2016, the hotel created their own home-brewed Buzz Beer, made with lemon verbena and hops from the on-site garden. The garden also produces 60 varieties of herbs, fruits, vegetables and edible flowers.
If you’re a hotelier looking to upgrade your on-site restaurant, consider the six examples above. Hotels across the globe are luring business beyond travelers with unique concepts like fresh local flavors, niche decor and experienced-based dining.